Women’s World Cup: Will U.S. victory tour include coach Jill Ellis?
The newly minted Women’s World Cup champions will begin a multigame victory tour Aug. 3 in Pasadena provided the Rose Bowl board, which will meet Monday, approves a proposal for the game.
“The Rose Bowl is thrilled at the potential of hosting the opening match of the victory tour of the World Cup champions,” said Darryl Dunn, the stadium’s chief executive and general manager.
The game’s announcement came less than an hour after U.S. coach Jill Ellis talked about the importance of supporting the domestic leagues that develop World Cup players. And that set off a brief firestorm on social media because two National Women’s Soccer League games involving national team players are also scheduled for Aug. 3.
That might not be Ellis’ problem, as her contract with U.S. Soccer expires at the end of this month. Although she has an option to come back, Ellis said Sunday that she’s uncertain whether she will accept it.
“I can’t even think about that right now,” she said. “Right now, it’s about just enjoying this moment. I said to the players in the pregame [meeting] that we have to take this game one minute, one moment, one decision at a time. And I kind of live by that.
“So I think for me right now, I’m just going to circle this in and enjoy it and celebrate with my players.”
Ellis might be due for a move. Her 127 games as coach of the women’s national team are the most ever, and her 102 wins rank second to the late Tony DiCicco, who had 105. She’s also undefeated in 14 games as a World Cup coach and is the only woman to coach her team to back-to-back titles.
U.S. forward Megan Rapinoe, left, joins teammates in celebration after defeating the Netherlands in the Women’s World Cup final on Sunday in Lyon, France.(Alessandra Tarantino / Associated Press)
American forward Megan Rapinoe poses with the Golden Boot after scoring the most goals in the Women’s World Cup.(Jean-Philippe Ksiazek / AFP / Getty Images)
Members of the U.S. team celebrate after defeating Netherlands 2-0 in the Women’s World Cup final.(David Vincent / Associated Press)
USWNT forward Megan Rapinoe, right, waves before the France 2019 Women’s World Cup final match between the U.S. and Netherlands on July 7 at Lyon Stadium in Lyon, France.(Jean Philippe Ksiazek / Getty Images)
American midfielder Rose Lavelle leaps into the arms of Alex Morgan as they, along with Megan Rapinoe, celebrate a goal by Lavelle during the second half Sunday.(Francisco Seco / Associated Press)
U.S. forward Megan Rapinoe scores her side’s opening goal on a penalty shot during the second half to open the scoring against Netherlands.(David Vincent / Associated Press)
American forward Megan Rapinoe (15) celebrates with teammate Alex Morgan after scoring against Netherlands on a penalty kick.()
U.S. forward Alex Morgan, center, battles for possession with Stefanie Van der Gragt, left, and Amouk Dekker of Netherlands during the FIFA Women’s World Cup final in Lyon, France, on July 7.(Alex Grimm / Getty Images)
Netherlands goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal makes a save during the FIFA Women’s World Cup final against the United States in Lyon, France, on July 7.(Jean-Philippe Ksiazek / AFP/Getty Images)
Netherlands goalkeeper Sari Van Veenendaal, right, leaps to make a save during the FIFA Women’s World Cup final against the United States in Lyon, France, on July 7.(Francisco Seco / Associated Press)
U.S. defender Crystal Dunn drives past Netherlands’ Danielle Van de Donk during the FIFA Women’s World Cup final against the United States in Lyon, France, on July 7.(Robert Cianflone / Getty Images)
U.S. defender Abby Dahlkemper and Netherlands forward Lineth Beerensteyn compete for the ball during the FIFA Women’s World Cup final.(Philippe Desmazes / AFP/Getty Images)
Midfielders Samantha Mewis of the U.S. and Anouk Dekker of the Netherlands battle for control of the ball.(Srdjan Suki / EPA-EFE / REX)
Netherlands forward Lineth Beerensteyn and U.S. defender Abby Dahlkemper vie for the ball.(Jean-Philippe Ksiazek / AFP/ Getty Images)
American goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher clears the ball on a centering pass before Netherlands forward Lineth Beerensteyn can attempt a shot.(Francois Mori / Associated Press)
U.S. forward Megan Rapinoe is knocked to the pitch by Netherlands midfielder Anouk Dekker.(Srdjan Suki / EPA-EFE / REX)
American midfielder Julie Ertz heads the ball toward a teammate.(Franck Fife / AFP / Getty Images)
Netherlands midfielder Lieke Martens is challenged by American midfielder Julie Ertz.(Richard Heathcote / Getty Images)
U.S. forward Alex Morgan brings down a pass while marked by Netherlands defender Anouk Dekker.(Jean-Philippe Ksiazek / AFP / Getty Images)
Ellis has said she was interested in coaching a men’s team, and, at 52, this might be the best time to make that move. She recently got her pro coaching license, making her the only woman to pass the course in the three years it has been offered, and she reportedly impressed several MLS coaches who took the course with her.
“I would definitely say it’s crossed my mind,” she said this past spring of coaching a men’s team. “After the national team, this is what I say to you. My experience going through the pro-license [course] with a lot of MLS head coaches and assistant coaches, what I took away from that is it isn’t that different. The game is the game.”
The U.S. team is scheduled to leave Lyon on a charter flight Monday afternoon and will make a round of media interviews in New York on Tuesday before being honored with a ticker-tape parade Wednesday. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio will then present players with keys to the city.
Rose just beginning to flower?
Rose Lavelle, who sealed the U.S. win Sunday with the team’s second goal, not only took a gold medal home from her first Women’s World Cup, but she also was presented with the Bronze Ball, which goes to the third-best player in the tournament.
And while the 24-year-old kept the trophy, she gave the credit for her winning it to her teammates.
“I have such amazing players around me. It’s easy to look good when you play with all these incredible players,” said the bubbly Lavelle, whose ball-handling skills repeatedly frustrated opponents. “I feel so lucky to be a part of this group.
“It’s wild how far I’ve come. I just won a WC with people I grew up idolizing. I can’t put it into words.”
Can you hear me now?
Ellis’ postgame news conference Sunday was interrupted when her cellphone, tucked in the pocket of her gray U.S. Soccer windbreaker, began to ring.
“Oh, that’s me. That’s probably my mother FaceTiming me,” an embarrassed Ellis said.
Then after a glance at her phone, she looked up and said: “It is. Mom, sorry can’t talk right now. She’s probably pissed. She’s Scottish.”
The 52-game tournament in France drew 1.13 million fans, according to organizers, an average of 21,756 per game. That’s the fourth-highest average attendance in history but down from each of the last three tournaments. There were 146 goals scored, an average of 2.81 per game, the same number as four years ago in Canada.
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